Design Ideas For Studios And Small Spaces

Updated 3/16/23

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Decorating a small house, studio apartment, tiny bedroom, or any smaller space may seem overwhelming. But don't worry; our experts' space-saving strategies make it easy for homeowners and renters to transform their small spaces into stunning, stylish residences. Whether you're looking to update a small bathroom or make the most of your living room space, you've come to the right place.

Incorporating these space-saving tips can totally transform your home and make your day-to-day life more convenient. Read on for Bassett Furniture's interior design recommendations and resources for small rooms, small apartments, houses, and studios.

How Do I Organize a Studio Space?

The good news is there is no one way to answer this question. Every studio space is different in size and shape, so what may work in one studio apartment may not work in another. Our professional designers at Bassett Furniture have put together some general guidelines for you to get the most out of your small room or studio space. With these interior design tips, you'll learn how to capture your style in a smaller home and maintain the illusion of a spacious, open environment.

Make Each Space Multi-Functional

Because utility is key, choose furniture pieces carefully that are both beautiful and multi-functional to save floor space. For example, an ottoman can serve as storage, a footrest, a center console, and a bookshelf. You could replace three pieces of furniture with one and save space in the process.

When purchasing a TV stand, console or credenza, make sure you find one with plenty of drawers or cabinets for ample storage in the living and sleeping areas.

Look for flexible furniture of lasting quality. That way, if you ever decide to spread out into a larger space, you will have something to bring with you that doesn't look like it belongs in the old place.

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Use Light to Your Advantage

Decorating a small room is all about arrangement and creating the illusion of space. We recommend you arrange a more open, light environment whenever possible. One of the best ways to do this is through a combination of natural light and mirrors.

Maximize Natural Light

Maximizing light from windows is one of the best ways to create a feeling of openness, so make this a priority. To maximize natural light, ensure there is little in the way of where the light streams inside. Also, we recommend you choose window treatments without too much complexity or decoration for a more open feel. 

Use More Mirrors

One great way to expand the existing light in your home, natural or otherwise, is to use mirrors. Adding mirrors is like adding an extra window, as placing a mirror opposite a window doubles your view. Using oversized and decorative mirrors adds a bit of glam and creates some breathing room. A large floor mirror can be particularly effective in a small space.

Choose Round, Compact Furniture

Choosing compact furniture with rounded edges can be a significant space saver. A sprawling sectional would be too much, but a sofa or sectional sized just right for smaller spaces can make the area appear roomier. Mid-century modern style furniture often is perfect for smaller spaces because it is low-slung and features spindly legs, which makes rooms feel more spacious. Round dining tables and curvy chairs with skinny legs also work well.

Space-Saving Tips for Different Rooms

How to Save Space in Small Living Rooms
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When you decorate a small living room, clever storage provides the key to hiding clutter. We recommend you go vertical with your storage options if you can. Vertical storage makes all the difference when you don't have much floor space. Use tall furniture such as bookshelves and cabinets to draw the eyes toward the ceiling, not the crowded floor. Place a wall shelf next to the front door or above the sofa to take full advantage of vertical space. 

A storage ottoman functions as a footrest, a storage space, or occasionally a table with the help of a tray. Tuck one or two ottomans under a console, and – voila! Extra guest seating.

See More Small Living Room Ideas

How to Save Space in Small Bedrooms

A bed with built-in storage is a perfect choice for decorating a small bedroom. Some storage beds offer just as much room as a dresser, so you may not even need a dresser in your bedroom. If a bed frame with drawers isn't your style, consider a storage ottoman or bench at the foot of your bed. Benches are stylish and functional, as storage benches and ottomans can be used effectively in more places than just the living room. And if your bed doesn't have built-in storage underneath, remember to slide some storage bins or boxes under the bed.

Don't forget to maximize your closet space with closet organizers, bins, and shelving. A well-organized closet will keep the clutter out of eyesight and neatly stored away. If your closet is also on the small side, you can instead use a nightstand with extra storage to hold anything you don't want on display. Instead of buying a nightstand with a single shelf, try finding a nightstand with a cabinet or drawers.

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How to Save Space in Small Kitchens & Dining Rooms

If you want to make the most out of a small kitchen or dining room, rule #1 is make sure your furniture isn't bulky. A sleek sideboard, buffet, server, or credenza can hold food, drinks, or other decorative items on top. Place your credenza between your kitchen and dining area to provide space for a bar tray when you entertain. Also, consider where you're storing particular kitchen items. You may be able to store most of your serving plates, glasses & cups, silverware and more in a nearby dining room hutch rather than crowding your kitchen cabinets. Try to reserve the kitchen storage areas for your cooking items and ingredients if you're low on cabinet space.

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How to Save Space in Open Floor Plans & Studios
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While an open floor plan is appealing in any size space, a bed calls for a certain amount of privacy. If you're creative with studio apartment design ideas, you can ensure your guests don't have to eat on the bedspread. A large rug under the bedBassett Cooper and another rug in the living room will help define each area of your studio or open-concept space.

Room dividers like curtains, a folding screen, or a multi-functional bookcase are great ways to provide visual separation. How you arrange your furniture can also create separate regions of your open space.

How to Save Space in Guest Rooms & Office

Bonus rooms are perfect places to maximize your storage since they are often used for multiple purposes at once. For instance, you may want to utilize an extra space as both a guest room and a home office. To make this work, choose a desk with drawers so it can double as a drawer space for your guests. If the desk has enough storage, you may not need to crowd the room with a dresser. If you do have a dresser planned for this space, use it also as a TV stand. Your guest bedroom and occasional home office can now be a bonus entertainment room.

How to Save Space in Small Bathrooms

You definitely need to be efficient with your space in the bathroom, especially a guest bath or half-bath. Even in larger homes, bathrooms are usually the smallest rooms. First, always use the space above your toilet to hold items such as toilet paper, cotton balls, and cotton swabs. You can add shelves for a more open look or an over-the-toilet cabinet to keep everything hidden. Also, consider adding a shelf above the bathroom door to store any bathroom items you don't use often. The space above your door is perfect for extra toilet paper and hand towels. It is also so out of the way your guests probably won't even notice it is there.

FAQs About Designing Studios & Small Spaces

How do I design a small foyer or hallway?

Often a foyer or entryway forms a guest's first impression. You could use conventional entryway furniture to hold your house keys and occasional stamped letter. But if you choose a media console with shelves and doors instead, you can hide half the things jammed into your coat closet and save precious space. For more on foyer design, check out this article on entryway updates.

How do I make my studio apartment look bigger?

To decorate a small home, studio apartment or any other space to appear bigger, make sure to use the right scale of furniture. That means neither too big, which will fill too much of the area, nor too small, which will often make the space look cluttered. The idea is to make storage look invisible and to lighten and brighten your room. Decorating small studio apartment spaces requires even more planning than larger spaces do, so don't be afraid of some trial and error as you try different furniture arrangements.

What colors are best to use in studios and small spaces?

The colors you decide to use in your studio apartment matter as much as the furniture you put in. Brighter colors make a room seem more spacious, especially whites and light neutrals. But what's most important is picking a color scheme that makes you happy. The happier you are with the colors in the room, the happier you will be with the space overall. The good news is if your tastes change, the colors in the room can change along with it.

Shop for Small Spaces at Bassett Furniture

When it's time to decorate small spaces, the challenge is to make the most of your square footage and still find room to express your style. Through carefully selecting furniture and creative arrangement, small spaces can be much more than just livable – they can be delightful! If you need assistance with creating your perfect studio apartment or small living room, find your store or contact us for help from our design experts.